Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Take action and cull early

Take action and cull early

DairyNZ advises farmers to dispose of known culls early.

“Feeding supplement to culls is expensive,” says DairyNZ farm systems specialist Phillipa Hedley. “If the known culls are disposed of early the rest of the herd is fed better and all of the extra feed goes to milk production and cow condition – not to maintenance as is the case with culls.”

The aim of dry summer management is to protect next season’s production and reproduction by getting all mixed age cows to body condition score (BCS) 5.0 and first and second calvers to BCS 5.5 by calving and having enough cows milking to match feed supply in the autumn.

On summer dry farms as soon as feed demand exceeds pasture growth the next season is in jeopardy as cow condition will be lost, especially the first calving cows in the herd.

“Often the option to increase feed supply is implemented before reducing cow demand,” says Phillipa. “However, the cheapest form of supplement is to dispose of known culls. Milking young and thin cows once a day (OAD) or 16 hour milking or drying-off these cows should also be considered before starting to feed supplement.”

For farms prone to summer dry, rarely does the farm grow sufficient pasture to meet both cow demand and pasture cover targets for the autumn. Even if there are periods of growth in January/February that exceed demand this growth is usually required to build up feed cover to meet future cow demand. For most farms (excluding irrigated and summer safe) milking 80-85% of peak cows from January onwards does not result in low pasture utilisation (wasted feed) or less milk production – in fact more milk is produced as less feed goes to cow maintenance.

“Body condition at calving of first and second calvers has a major impact on their reproductive performance,” says Phillipa. “These animals need to be BCS 5.5 at calving. Cows in their first lactation need to be preferentially treated (OAD or dried-off early) as they are still growing and research shows that heifers suffer more BCS loss in summer. Keeping culls only puts more pressure on these animals.”

Phillipa advises farmers to take action early. “In December calculate how many cows you can cull, making a conservative estimate of the number of empties. This will give you the number of cows you can cull for traits other than being late or empty – cull on Production Worth, repeat clinical mastitis cases (normally 3 strikes and culled), high somatic cell count, three teaters, temperament, udder conformation and age.”

For further information visit the Tight Management page on the DairyNZ website: www.dairynz.co.nz/tightmanagement


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour Refusing To Lead A Progressive Drugs Policy

Once again, Labour has chosen not to use (a) its parliamentary majority and (b) the huge mandate it was given at the last election in order to (c) bring about progressive social change. Once again, Labour seems to regard its main purpose for being in power as being to keep National and Act out of power. Will Labour for instance, overhaul our out-dated, unsafe, and unjust laws on drugs? No, it will not... More>>


Climate Change: Emissions Report Shows Urgent Action Needed

Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New ... More>>


Government: The Duke Of Edinburgh

9 April 2021 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time. On behalf of the New ... More>>


Government: Delivers Next Phase Of Climate Action

The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first ... More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

World Travel: New Zealand Temporarily Suspending Travel From India - PM Jacinda Ardern

Travel into New Zealand from India - including for New Zealand citizens and residents - is being temporarily suspended because of high numbers of Covid-19 cases. More>>




InfoPages News Channels